Monday, April 3, 2006

John Schmidt

If you know the answer to the following riddle, give the Comments section a holler. You political junkies remember John Schmidt: Daley’s first chief of staff, prominent establishment lawyer, associate attorney general of the U. S. under Clinton, succeeding Webb Hubble, then a Democratic candidate for state attorney general, beaten by Lisa Madigan…now back as blue chip law firm major partner. Not long ago, Schmidt wrote an Op Ed for, I believe, the Wall Street Journal which got major attention because it defended George W. Bush, no less, attesting that he indeed has inherent constitutional power to tap phone lines in behalf of national security. The story took off because of Schmidt’s high service to Bill Clinton.

Nothing further has been heard of Schmidt so far as I know, except that he appeared startlingly the other day sitting next to none other than John Dean at a Senate Judiciary hearing, the aptly-named Feingold seeking to find political gold with the far-left portion of the Democratic base for a presidential run. Dean got huge press saying that Bush could and should be censured or impeached. You remember that. What did Schmidt say? I haven’t found any word of his testimony in the press. Which leads me to suspect that Schmidt kept to his old position that Bush has the constitutional power. Which would be one reason why Schmidt didn’t get any attention in the New York Times beyond his being shown in a photo sitting next to John Dean (along with Bruce Fein, a conservative legal theorist). Now, Lynn Sweet, the Sun-Times’ liberal Democratic secular saint who has the charism of bi-location, enabling her to cover Democrats here and in Washington at the same time, somehow missed mentioning Schmidt’s testimony, unless I’m far wrong. I am sure her failure to report Democrat Schmidt was not due to lack of diligence: she rightly decided Schmidt’s apostasy did not deserve coverage in her pristine Democratic newspaper. Am I right about this? It’s late on Sunday night and I must go to bed so I won’t try to look it up on the web—but I’ll be Schmidt once again offended all liberaldom. If you have run into his remarks, I’d appreciate a note on Comments

1 comment:

  1. I could only find a few lines about John Schmit's testimony.

    The summary is enough to present below:
    "Another witness, John Schmidt, a former associate attorney general in the Justice department under President Clinton, called censure a move that would “demean and undermine the serious discussion of this issue which we should be having.” Schmidt got in his own shot at Dean by quoting Edward Levi, the attorney general under President Ford, who had in 1977 cited the need for a president to have broad foreign surveillance powers. Levi, said Schmidt, "came in to clean up the mess Mr. Dean and his colleagues left” after the Watergate affair." "

    Seems to me that the censure resoltuion is promoting serious discussion, not demeaning it.

    I support Feingold's resolution and am amazed to hear of reports from Dem consultants claiming that serious consideration and/or passage of Feingold's resolution will only motivate if conservatives had no intention of participating in 2008 presidential election politics, but might now get involved because Russ Feingold proposed censure of Bush.